Some of the dialogue taking place on social media and news outlets the day after the Inauguration reminds me of the Chinese language symbol that can mean both danger and opportunity depending on how it is used. We are in one of those moments of definition, not in the culture, but within the Church. The election was a tool used to reveal what was in our hearts – the good and the bad – on both sides of the election results.
Jan has been gone a few days helping her mother move into a care facility. I don’t do the bachelor thing well. I miss my wife whenever we are apart. We have been married so long we no longer know where one of us ends and the other begins. The longer we are married the deeper our expression of oneness becomes while we still retain our unique personalities and differences of opinion. We live in that deepening oneness because for the last 44 years we have chosen to actively protect our relationship by struggling through our times of opposition and disagreement with honor and forgiveness.
I think this is why when God designed the model of what a God-ordained idea of marriage was supposed to look like, He picked a man and a woman to represent His thinking. He chose two distinctly different people both anatomically and emotionally and said this is the representative symbol of his idea of marriage. God would use the marriage between two opposites to reveal what the relationship between Jesus and the Church would look like.
In John 17, Jesus prayed that we would be one. He went on to say the chilling words, “…so that the world will believe you sent me.” In other words, the world’s ability to believe depends on the Church choosing to be one with each other in the middle of really large differences of opinion.
Today, the day after the election when so many within the Church are sharing opposing views, your calling is to protect the oneness. Watch your words. Measure your response. Choose to see a bigger picture than the one being painted by your emotions and the unguarded opinions of other people. Our oneness is far more important than the outcome of any election. It is more important because our oneness, not an election outcome, carries the promise of belief.